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Stockport County 0gifHarriers 1

Date: 29-10-16 gif Venue: Edgeley Park gif att: 2883 gif away fans: 147
Hats off to the Harriers

gif Report: Centre Foreword
On a dank late October afternoon, the mighty Reds travelled to an old foe in the guise of the once lofty Stockport County to engage in what would clearly be a closely fought challenge.  On the back of an away win against previously high flying Harrogate the Harriers named an unchanged side.  The crowd was mindful of the fact that this would be the last game that would finish in broad daylight before the clocks went back for winter.

The game started at a good solid tempo with a mist/dew/drizzle in the air.  If anything the Hatters had the better of the early exchanges and after just three minutes the on loan James Hooper took a fine free kick for the home side which scooted past the wall and Sam Hornby had to get down well to save it and push it past the post.  Hooper then followed that up with a solid shot on five minutes which again forced Hornby into a save.

Harriers then started getting into the game and, after a neat one two with Mani Dieseruvwe, Liam Truslove found himself in front of goal with a great chance to open the scoring but in trying to place his shot he actually put it wide of the post.

On twelve minutes Tyrone Williams was adjudged worthy of being placed in the referee's notebook after a bit of a lunge on a Stockport player and then Hornby had to come good again as he won the best of a one on one with County forward John Marsden.

Then another Carpetman was booked.  This time it was Jordan Tunnicliffe who was deemed to have blocked off a marauding Hatter although from the view of the Harriers fans the challenge was less than innocuous.  The referee was clearly playing to the crowd.

At this point in proceedings neither side was on top though it was clear that the visitors were playing the better football.  On thirty one minutes a great run from Arthur Gnahoua (who was a handful all afternoon) unleashed Mani but the striker could only stab over the bar from about six yards out.

Up at the other end on thirty seven minutes Marsden again had a great chance to score but another one on one resulted in Hornby coming off the better - he saved and held.

Two more chances then followed for John Eustace's men.  James McQuilkin lifted a cross to Dieseruvwe but his downward header landed just wide and then Zaine Francis Angol set up Gnahoua brilliantly but his shot was well blocked by Ben Hinchcliffe in the Stockport goal.

An entertaining first half came to a conclusion with both sides having a good number of chances to score.  The boys from Worcestershire were playing the better football but it was clear that either side could have taken the lead nonetheless both teams entered the tunnel with it all still to play for.
  HT: 0 - 0
The second period also began with the home side on top.  Whatever motivating points John Eustace had made to his charges hadn't worked as the Hatters began the brightest.

In what appeared a nothing challenge Tunnicliffe took a knock to the head which resulted in an open wound and a trickle of blood.  The referee wasn't happy though, initially sending the ace defender off the field for some grease and when that didn't seem to work he sent him away once more for a full bandage such that Tunnicliffe re-emerged looking like Terry Butcher reincarnated.

On fifty eight minutes, following a good spell for the home side, James Hooper hit a great strike from distance which Hornby managed to tip over the bar.  At this point, about fifteen minutes into the second half, the visitors realised that they needed to make more of a stab at getting back on terms in relation to possession and creating chances if they were going to get that greatly desired win.

After sixty two minutes, having been released by Truslove, Ty Williams hit a well guided cross come shot which had to be parried away by Hinchcliffe and then in the sixty sixth minute the killer goal came.  James McQuilkin picked the ball up a long way out and rampaged down the left flank leaving the home side's defence for dead.  Having reached the bye line he then executed a great pull back straight to the feet of Ryan Croasdale in front of goal who had no hesitation in placing the ball in the back of the Blues' goal net.  One nil to the Harriers.  Probably against the run of play as far as the second half was concerned, but nevertheless it was clear that Kidderminster were the better footballing team.

Spurred on by the goal the Harriers seemed to grow in confidence.  Truslove curled a well taken free kick just over the bar and the same man then executed a fine header which the Stockport keeper was forced to push over the bar once more.

Shortly after the visitor's substitutions were made.  Ashley Carter came on for Truslove and Andre Brown for Dieseruvwe and as both sides began to tire it became 'backs to the wall' as far as the visitors were concerned.  The home side had what looked like a good shout for a handball in the Carpetmen's goal area and wave after wave of Hatters attack had to be repelled.

Harriers' final substitution came on the stroke of the end of normal time.  Sam Austin on for Waite as the tannoy announced there would be four minutes added and in those added minutes it was Harriers who actually came close to scoring on the break.  Zaine Francis-Angol sped away and played in Brown but his attempt was well saved by the home side's shot stopper.

As the final whistle blew the Reds' fans breathed a sigh of relief, thankful that the match did not finish in the same fashion as the away game at Boston near the start of the season when the opposition scored in the dying seconds to clinch a one all draw.  Overall the match was pretty even but the Harriers probably just about deserved to win.

Two away wins in the space of four days against good teams should hold the Reds in good stead for further in progress in the league but focus now turns to Blackpool and the FA Cup.  Man of the Match goes to Jordan Tunnicliffe who won many a towering header without ever infringing and was in fact rather unlucky to be booked by the ref.
  FT: 0 - 1

 Goal for Harriers: Croasdale 65

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Stockport County  goals   subs   cards      Harriers  goals   subs   cards 
Hinchliffe     Hornby  
Ross     Williams
Cartwright     Francis-Angol  
Montrose gif   Croasdale gif  
Clarke     Lowe  
Smalley     Tunnicliffe
Minihan     Waite gif  
Stopforth     McQuilkin  
Odejayi gif     Dieseruvwe gif  
Marsden     Truslove gif  
Hooper     Gnahoua  
SUBS:         SUBS:      
Ormson     Palmer  
Meppen-Walters     Austin gif - 87  
Carney gif - 81     Stambolziev  
Ball gif - 68     Brown gif - 77  
West     Carter gif - 74  

Mr D McNamara

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